Man accused of killing Santaquin officer gets new representation

Jul 3, 2024, 9:30 PM

Michael Aaron Jayne, the Indiana man accused of intentionally running down and killing a Santaquin ...

Michael Aaron Jayne, the Indiana man accused of intentionally running down and killing a Santaquin police officer, was holding a woman against her will when officers pulled him over, according to the Utah County Sheriff's Office. (Utah Department of Public Safety)

(Utah Department of Public Safety)

SALT LAKE CITY — Michael Jayne, the man accused of killing Santaquin Police Sgt. Bill Hooser will be represented in court by private attorneys. However, they will not come from the Utah County Public Defender’s office, which said they have too many murder cases to handle right now.

Instead, Rudy Bautista and Jonathan Nish are taking over Jayne’s case.

Jayne is charged with 9 felonies including aggravated murder for the death of Santaquin Police Sgt. Bill Hooser on May 5, 2024. Jayne is accused of intentionally steering a semi-truck toward Hooser, then striking and killing him.

The aggravated murder charge carries the possibility of the death penalty.

Utah County will continue paying for Jayne’s representation even though the public defender’s office is no longer involved, Bautista said.

Not an unusual situation

KSL Legal Analyst Greg Skordas said this situation is not unusual.

“There is a group of attorneys who are what we call ‘death qualified’ in Utah. We are attorneys that have tried a certain number of homicide cases, have training in death penalty cases and can be court-appointed on capital offenses,” Skordas said. 

Bautista has taken on capital murder trials in the past. During these trials, lawyers generally try to get the death penalty off the table, Bautista said..

Related stories:


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Crime, Police + Courts

A United States District Court judge has dismissed the classified documents case against former Pre...

Devin Oldroyd and Mariah Maynes

Classified documents case against former President Donald Trump dismissed

A United States District Court judge has dismissed the classified documents case against former President Donald Trump.

3 hours ago

former president donald trump after his attempted assassination...


Authorities hunt for clues, but motive of man who tried to assassinate Donald Trump remains elusive

Authorities are hunting for any clues about what may have driven Thomas Matthew Crooks to carry out an attempt to assassinate Donald Trump.

4 hours ago

Audience members duck in the crowd during a shooting attempt at a campaign rally for Republican pre...

Kennedy Camarena

Name of man killed in Butler, Pennsylvania campaign rally released

The Pennsylvania governor has released the name of the man who was killed in the Butler, Pennsylvania campaign rally on Saturday.

24 hours ago

The FBI has identified a suspect in the shooting that occurred at a campaign rally. Republican pres...

Kennedy Camarena

FBI identifies gunman involved in apparent assassination attempt of former President Trump

The FBI has identified the gunman who was involved with the apparent assassination attempt of former President Donald Trump.

1 day ago

Republican presidential candidate, former U.S. President Donald Trump is whisked away by Secret Ser...

Simone Seikaly

PHOTOS: Shots fired at Trump rally, former president injured, spectator killed

Former President Donald Trump was injured by shots that were fired toward a campaign rally stage in Butler, Pa, on Saturday.

1 day ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surround by U.S. Secret Service ...

Kyle Remund

Former President Trump issues statement after assassination attempt

After surviving an assassination attempt, Former President Donald Trump has now issued a statement about the attack.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

A young woman smiles while reading the menu at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the panoramic view o...

Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau

The best restaurants to try in Bear Lake

Save this guide to the best restaurants in Bear Lake when you need to find a place to dine during your next visit.

Female leg stepping on weigh scales. Healthy lifestyle, food and sport concept....

Health Utah

Sustainable weight loss: the science-backed way to achieve it

Learn more about Debbie's weight loss journey with Health Utah, who have a unique weight loss philosophy for success.

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

Man accused of killing Santaquin officer gets new representation